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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Derby day is here again

  • Stephanie Sloop, planning coordinator for the Leavenworth County planning and zoning department, talks to the Leavenworth Times about this weekend's event designed specifically for children — the annual Mel Hedrick Fishing Derby.
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  • Stephanie Sloop, planning coordinator for the Leavenworth County planning and zoning department, talks to the Leavenworth Times about this weekend's event designed specifically for children — the annual Mel Hedrick Fishing Derby.
    The event is designed to get children to appreciate fishing and outdoor activities. Sloop has more in this Q5.
    1. How did the Annual Mel Hedrick Fishing Derby get started and when and where will it be this year?
    "This year’s Fishing Derby is this Saturday, July 12, from 8-11 a.m. at Lamborn Farms, 25761 151st St., Leavenworth, Kan. This is a free event for children and their parents. Qualification ribbons and trophies will be given out to children ages  3-15."
    "Mel Hedrick worked for Leavenworth County and was an avid fisherman. Mel Hedrick passed away in 1996 and shortly after Leavenworth County decided to host an annual fishing derby in remembrance of him and his service to the community with the idea of getting the youth of Leavenworth excited about fishing and the outdoors."
     
    2. This year's Derby is in remembrance of Tom Olson. Can you tell us about Tom?
    "Tom Olson was a Leavenworth County employee who retired in 2012. Tom was an avid fisherman and was involved in the derby by planning and organizing the event. Even after retirement, Tom was always in attendance of the fishing derby and helped barbecue and hand out trophies to the children. Tom unexpectedly passed away last year and his contributions to the event are being remembered."
     
    3. What will be given out during the event?
    "Leavenworth County is a proud sponsor of the Fishing Derby.
    “There will be a free barbecue lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers along with chips and cold drinks.
    “Trophies will be handed out for the First Catch of the Day, Largest Fish Caught, and  first and second place for each age category."
     
    4. What else will be provided for the young fishermen and fisherwomen? Will they keep the fish or will it be catch and release?
    "This event is catch and release. Young fishermen and fisherwomen will be provided with bobbers, hooks, and bait.
    “The only thing that they need to bring with them is a fishing pole."
     
    5. What are the benefits of the annual fishing derby for youth?
    "The Fishing Derby introduces kids to fishing as both an individual hobby and as a family activity.
    “It is aimed at getting more kids outdoors, involved in fishing,  and experiencing the environment and natural resources."

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